Sites in Natchez
Convention and Visitors Bureau, 442 Main St. 601-446-6345. Natchez is a city sized museum of the antebellum South. The town started in 1716 as Fort Rosalie, built by the French on the site of an old Natchez Indian village. Profiting from the Mississippi's rich earth, cotton planters put up great neoclassical showplaces.
The town encompasses 300 antebellum houses and other buildings, more than 30 of which are open during the annual spring and fall pilgrimages. Several offer year-round tours and bed-and-breakfast stays. The houses are scattered throughout the city and set off by park-like estates.
Natchez Driving Tour
Grand Village of the Natchez Indians(400 Jefferson Davis Blvd. 601-446-6502).A small museum and preserved mounds from a Natchez Indian ceremonial center are located here. The site was occupied from 1200 to 1730.
(140 Lower Woodville Rd. 601-442-5193). Longwood features an octagonal design surmounted by a six-story-high minaret. Interior construction on the house was interrupted by the Civil War and was never completed.
Auburn (400 Duncan Ave. 601-442-5981). An early Greek Revival mansion, Auburn boasts an elegant freestanding spiral staircase and some original furnishings.
Dunleith (84 Homochito St. 601-446-8500). Dunleith is now a inn and is a Greek Revival mansion built in 1856. Tours cover only the first floor.
Ravennaside (601 S. Union St. 601-442-8015). This house was built just after the Civil War to entertain visiting dignitaries and local elite.
Rosalie (100 Orleans St. 601-445-4555). Rosalie is a Georgian mansion which commands fine views of the Mississippi River from its wide galleries. Ulysses S. Grant occupied the house in 1863.
Just down the street, refurbished Natchez Under-the-Hill (Silver St.) attracts tourists to bars, shops, and a riverboat casino docked at the infamous landing where gamblers, thieves, and prostitutes once thrived. Nearby is Governor Holmes House (207 Wall St.) which dates from the 1790s and offers bed-and-breakfast accommodations. It was owned by the last governor of the Mississippi Territory and the first governor of the new state.
House on Ellicott Hill (211 N. Canal St. 601-442-2011). This house illustrates graceful French Caribbean living in 1798.
A block away is Stanton Hall which is a major example of true antebellum splendor. The site occupies an entire city block and boasts 17-foot high ceilings, 10-foot high cypress doors, and intricate rococo woodwork and plasterwork. Scenes from the movie North and South were filmed here.
The oldest known building in Natchez, King's Tavern (619 Jefferson St.) dates from 1789 and served as a stage stop and mill station. It now houses a restaurant.
Monmouth Plantation (John Quitman Pkwy and Melrose Ave. 601-442-5852). This house now serves as an inn and is surrounded by lovely formal gardens.
Linden (1 Linden Pl. 601-445-5472) dates from circa 1790, with family furnishings from six generations.
Melrose (1 Melrose Monabello Pkwy. 601-446-5790) is a textbook Greek Revival edifice of perfect symmetry.Informative tours discuss the Natchez wealthy elite and their slave-driven economy. The site contains an exhibit on slavery and recreated slave quarters.
Other Points of Interest
(712 N. Union St. 601-446-6345) is a three-storied mansion especially noted for its beautiful semi-spiral staircase in the central hall. It is a bed-and-breakfast inn and features gardens with man rare varieties of camellias.
Bluff Park (Broadway St.) features a Gazebo overlooking the Mississippi River and is only a short distance from Natchez Under-the-Hill.
Canal Street Depot (Canal St. at State St.) is located one block from the Mississippi River. This charming refurbished 1900 train depot offers a children's factory outlet, quaint retail shops, refreshments, restrooms and tour information.
Carriage Tours (Canal Street Depot) in horse-drawn carriages are offered through the heart of the Natchez Historic District with a 35-minute narration citing antebellum and Victorian townhouses, churches and quaint antique and gift shops.
Kyle House (High St. and Rankin St.) is the only territorial period building in Mississippi associated with the free African American. The house was built for Nancy Kyle, who had a relationship with a white merchant named Christopher Kyle.
The Mostly African Market (125 Catherine St. 601-442-5448) presents art exhibits and regional arts and crafts. This Greek Revival house was built around 1850 and became the home of the African American family of Emile Angelety.
The Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture (307-A Market St. 601-445-0728) highlights African American history and culture from 1890-1950s through lectures, pageants, artifacts, books, photographs, and records.
Smith-Bontura-Evens House (107 Broadway St. 601-446-6108) is the home of Robert Smith, a free African American who operated a carriage business in Natchez. The substantial Greek Revival townhouse testifies to the business success of Smith in Natchez, where almost half of the state's free African American population resided in the last decades before the Civil War.
William Johnson House (State St and Canal St. 601-446-6345) is part of the Natchez Historical Park. When restored it will operate as a museum to interpret both the life of William Johnson and Natchez African American history. Johnson is important to American history because his published diary represents the most complete account of the life of a free African American in the antebellum South.
"Forks of the Road" Slave Market Site (St. Catherine St. at D'Evereaux St.) was an important slave market. When the cotton business grew rapidly after the War of 1812, the slave markets of Natchez and Algiers in New Orleans became the busiest in the South. (Marker only.)
Historic Jefferson College (Hwy 61 N. 601-442-2901) is the first educational institution in Mississippi territory. It was chartered in 1802 and includes a museum and historic building restorations. It was the site for the arraignment of the legendary traitor, Aaron Burr.
Natchez State Park (Hwy 61 N. 601-442-2658) features cabins, camping, fishing, nature trails, and boating.
St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge (601-442-6696) features fishing and nature trails.